Robert Burriss’ Wall of Death

Biloxi police’s crime department was founded in 1979 back when Inspector Robert Burriss first started with just an aluminum frame to collect evidence with and has since grown 50 years later.
As if Biloxi doesn’t already have enough history in the city, there’s something inside the Biloxi Police Department’s building that dates back to the 1970s: the wall of death. Earlier today, News 25 stepped inside the department walls and talked with Chaplain Robert Burriss, the man behind the wall of death who told News 25 some of his most chilling homicides and suicides.
It all started with a pipe wrench. “Well, he took this wrench and beat her to death with it.”
Biloxi’s founder and former crime department head, Robert Burriss, created this “wall of death” back in 1986 and within just a few short years, Burriss flooded the wall with over 30 different objects from different crime scenes. “So, to create this board, to show our police officers what goes on, on the street out there and explain to them the difficulty of putting these things together with fingerprints or whatever, to bring a case to closure.”
After signing off on them, Burriss was able to keep an object from each crime scene, collecting dozens of guns, shoes, even a pipe bomb, each telling a compelling story.
What’s not framed on the wall are the weapons from Biloxi’s notorious crime story, the Sherry murders, an interesting case Burriss worked for three days straight, never recovering the murder weapons. “FBI come in and come and helped us out. We never let down on that case. I don’t care what other people say, we never let up on it until it was done with,” said Burriss.
Burriss retired from the crime department in 2006 and came back four years ago as the chaplain and is still continuing to build a 50 year legacy. Biloxi PD Investigator George Chaix said, “He has done so much and he’s seen the history of the City of Biloxi and how it’s changed. He has seen policing in the old school, he’s seen as it modernized and he’s still here today. He has combined policing, 50 years of policing experience.”
Not even a current battle with leukemia is keeping Burriss from living out his passion. “The way I feel about it, the Lord put me in this position to do this work and I learned from it so I can’t say I’m real good at this or that or the other because without him I’d be nothing. I give him credit for everything I did. It was good.”
Burriss has just recently been diagnosed with leukemia this year and they were able to catch it early. However, Burriss said that doctors are giving him one to three years to live, but he believes he will be around much longer than that.

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